According to a statement by a British lawmaker, the United Kingdom is aiming to take advantage of the benefits that blockchain can offer to the economy and private sector, and is expected to establish regulations for digital assets within the next twelve months.
During an interview with CNBC on April 17, Andrew Griffith, who is the economic secretary to the U.K. Treasury, expressed that the government’s ultimate objective is to enable companies to fully benefit from the opportunities presented by cryptocurrency assets by implementing well-designed regulations for the crypto industry.
Griffith stated that, after many years, the U.K. government is now in a favorable position to regulate cryptocurrencies in a sensible and appropriate way. He also hinted at the U.K.’s departure from the European Union, suggesting that Brexit may have created an opportunity for the country to develop its own regulatory framework for crypto assets.
UK to Frame a Crypto Regulatory Framework With Both the Existing Laws and New Inputs
The UK government is focused on “growth”, and magnifying the economy of the company by introducing technological innovations in the private industry. The crypto regulatory framework will be a bit of both the existing laws on financial assets and the new crypto regulations.
The UK government aims for consistency in the regulation of assets, seeking to apply the same regulations to assets regardless of their nature. However, there are unique opportunities in the realm of crypto assets and distributed ledger technology, and the government intends to capitalize on these opportunities.
Griffith stated as an example that using fiat-backed cryptocurrencies for settlement has been incorporated into the financial services bill. He also noted that this specific regulation is expected to be implemented even earlier than the more extensive regulatory framework for the crypto industry.
According to Griffith, the introduction of the proposed central bank digital currency by the U.K. government, which has been informally referred to as “Britcoin” by the public, is expected to take a considerably longer time to launch and will not be implemented within the next year. Griffith emphasized the importance of a comprehensive policy discussion on privacy concerns related to the digital pound and the underlying technology, to ensure that all apprehensions are resolved. He stated that this issue needs to be thoroughly debated to ensure that the regulatory framework and related policies are robust and appropriate.
Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong Meets Andrew Griffith in London
Brian Armstrong, the CEO of Coinbase, visited London earlier this week to deliver a speech on how the U.K. can boost its crypto sector and transform into an “innovation hub for the Web3 economy.” During his visit, he also met with Andrew Griffith to discuss the potential of the crypto industry and the government’s regulatory plans for the sector.
Coinbase’s vision of turning the U.K. into a crypto hub aligns with UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s previous statements, where he expressed his desire to establish the country as a significant player in the crypto space. Other regions, such as Dubai, Singapore, and Hong Kong, have also been working to become crypto hubs. In contrast, the United States has recently increased its enforcement actions against crypto-related activities since Gary Gensler assumed the position of chair at the Securities Exchange Commission in April 2021.